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Development and validation of a college resilience questionnaire

Deborah Jean Carlson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Resilience is a complex interaction of risk factors and protective factors that lead to positive developmental outcomes. The transition from high school to college introduces new risk factors (e.g., loneliness, financial) and the need for new or altered protective factors (e.g., social and problem solving skills). Reasons for dropping out are many, ranging from lack of long-term goals and commitments to a sense of isolation and not belonging. Two factors that have been found to promote persistence in college are academic and social engagement (Tinto, 1993). Both constructs have also been linked to increasing long-term goals, problem solving and social skills in students (Pascarella, 1989). ^ This dissertation describes the development and initial validation of the College Resilience Questionnaire (CRQ), an instrument designed to predict students' resilience via the two constructs of academic and social engagement. Because of the exploratory nature of this research, three separate studies were conducted. The common goals of each study were to determine the factor structure of the CRQ and to evaluate the internal consistency of each factor. The intent of Study 1 was to validate the CRQ by testing the convergent and discriminate validity of the instrument. The intent of Study 2 was to look at the relationship of the CRQ to a number of behaviors in which students engage in an attempt to view the aspects of the classroom environment that impact resilience. The intent of Study 3 was to test the predictive validity of the CRQ with intent to persist in college. The items in the CRQ were modified after each study to reflect the new information provided by each study. The final version of the CRQ is a more concise 27-item scale that is an improvement over the original 40-item scale, in that the factors correlated better with behaviors. The initial evaluations of the psychometric properties of the CRQ are reported and directions for future research are considered. ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology

Recommended Citation

Carlson, Deborah Jean, "Development and validation of a college resilience questionnaire" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3016308.